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Here are the top industry stories for today’s Friday5 round up: on Facebook click bait, mass-media business models, the ‘Spiral of Silence,” Twitter analytics, and brand worth.

  1. Facebook Takes Steps Against ‘Click Bait’ Articles (New York Times, August 25): Ever been tricked by a clever headline only to land on an article that was totally irrelevant garbage. Well, Facebook is tweaking its algorithm again to try to keep honing the quality of the content served up to you.
  2. Journalism is doing just fine, thanks — it’s mass-media business models that are ailing (GigaOm, August 26): Matthew Ingram argues in this piece that journalism has never been stronger, despite arguments that the Internet has destroyed virtually everything (if you believe what you hear). Worth a read to see how he breaks down what the changes in journalism economics mean for the industry and readers today.
  3. Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ (The Pew Internet and Life Project, August 26): Pew’s latest research report stirred up a lot of headlines, particularly given all the global political turmoil of late. While we like to think that social media opens up the world to freely debate hot topics and share opinions, it appears it can have quite the opposite effect. According to the report, “the findings indicate that in the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions and debate issues. Further, if people thought their friends and followers in social media disagreed with them, they were less likely to say they would state their views on the Snowden-NSA story online and in other contexts, such as gatherings of friends, neighbors, or co-workers.”
  4. Twitter Analytics Now Available To Everyone (InformationWeek, August 28): Ever wonder if anyone’s actually reading your tweets? You’re now in luck. All users can now access Twitters analytics platform. Check your stats out here:
  5. What are brands for? (The Economist, August 30): This interesting read raises the question, what is a brand really worth and do consumers really need them? The article addresses various theories around loyalty, choice, differentiation, or even “physical and mental availability.” Do you think brands as valuable as they used to be?

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